On May 24 the profession lost one of the best with the passing of Dr. George Nemec. I knew Dr. Nemec longer than anyone else in the area: we were fraternity brothers and classmates, class of 1954, at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago.
I stayed in the Chicago area for further training, and after return from military service returned to Chicago, completed my training and entered into private practice in 1960. As with most of my classmates, who scattered to the four winds, I lost track or George until 1972 when I moved my practice to Minocqua. George, who was practicing near Madison, saw that I had been licensed in Wisconsin in one of the state bulletins and dropped me a line welcoming me to the state. Within a year or so, after I arrived, George, who had a summer cabin on Dad's Lake, near Plum Lake (Sayner), called me to discuss relocating to Lakeland. I encouraged him to do so, and shortly he made the move. Twenty years after graduation we were colleagues again.
George had a very successful practice. He was a good, caring man, and was truly loved and respected by his patients, and the feeling was mutual. He truly cared for people, and it showed. With children he never gave sweet treats: that was not good for their teeth; he gave instead little toys to take home. He was very popular with the elderly, whom he treated with great consideration and gentility. As time went on he became more and more a geriatrician. He began a health column in The Lakeland Times that was very popular, and after some years his articles on health advice were collected and published in book form.
In the mid 1980s he gave up practice and was hired by the hospital administrator, John Danielson, to be the full time director of medical education. He did a superb job, organizing a continuing educational program, and seeing to the supervision of the medical students from the University at Madison and The Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. His program received statewide recognition, and remains one of the best small hospital programs.
With health issues for both George and Dorothy, he retired in the early 90s and moved be with his son, Larry Nemec, M.D. and his family in the Minneapolis area. Dorothy preceded him some years ago. In gradually declining health he stayed in touch with his daughter and two sons, living quietly until his passing.
I have lost a friend and colleague, but the world has lost something more valuable, a good and noble physician in the classic sense. Yes, the modern physicians are very well trained and are very good doctors, but the "Nemec Touch" is not as common as it once was. George, I will miss you. Ave, Atque, Vale.